Monday, September 01, 2008

Lunching elsewhere ... Black Box Café ... and Old Meets New

The Black Box in Belfast's Catedral Quarter - on a cold February evening - as opposed to a crisp September lunchtime

Our repertoire of lunch haunts in the city centre is quite limited. As a group of three, sometimes two, very occasionally four colleagues, we tend to make our way between the same five or six venues, and it’s rare to add a new one.

The work canteen has long since been abandoned. In the days when Pamela was in charge, it used to be the default choice and we’d all stare at the menu, and once in a while one person would use their veto and suggest “Elsewhere?”

But in the last few years, we’ve stopped even examining the menu and head out for the walk in all but the worst weather.

So it was with interest that I read somewhere that the Black Box Café had started to do pizzas. (The last decent pizza place - the Azura in Church Lane - sadly closed a year or two back, leaving the Pizza Hut Express in Castle Court the only option now.)

I should have read more carefully. Pizzas are only available at evening events and not during the day. But we stayed anyway and the soup looked good across the table. My toastie was disappointing. The brown bread was toasted, but the contents in-between the slices were still at fridge temperature. Someone in the Black Box needs to buy a sandwich toaster ... and extend Pizzas to lunchtime for the cold and wet autumn/winter period!

104 TtV shots on the wall in John Baucher's TtV exhibition in Belfast's Black Box

The art on the wall was good though. Moochin Photoman’s Old Meets New exhibition of TtV (Through the Viewfinder) photos. It’s Ireland’s first TtV exhibition and the blurb explains the combination of ...

“... analogue and digital technologies with stunning results. Harnessing over 15 years experience as a commercial and community photographer, and a background in film, John has used the viewfinder of a 1940’s Ensign Ful-Vue with a digital camera to produce a visually rich - and sometimes gritty body of work which spans portraiture, documentary, and more conceptual pieces.

Sponsored by Snappy Snaps, High Street, Belfast”

Like all photo collections from in and around Belfast, there’s the obligatory shot of the Belfast Eye ... except John managed to make his dark and dramatic. Particularly intriguing was the 104-snap montage that’s on sale for £250.

Call in and have a look - exhibition closes on 16 September. Just don’t promise a colleague there’ll be pizza on the menu!


Timothy Belmont said...

Talking about pizzas, an acquaintance of mine swears by a small pizzeria in Amelia Street, behind the Crown bar. I cannot remember its name; Kevin reckons it's the best in Town.


Frank B said...

Is the Cafe Milano still there? It had excellent pizza.

Moochin Photoman said...

That would be Little Italy on Amelia St Timothy
Alan thanks for the blog tho there is no intrigue about 104 portraits, they just display the diversity of my moochin!

Alan in Belfast said...

Maybe intriguing wasn't the best word.

Eye-catching and attractive.

So many faces, and so much temptation to rearrange the people to look at each other ...

(No white bunny!!!)

Mooochin Photoman said...

I did consider that but everyone has their eyes on different goals hence the arrangement
Glad you like it and again thanks for the blog/review.
And for the record, the pizza's are very very good. I'll tell them about your blog so maybe they will change things a lil.

Timothy Belmont said...

That's it Moochin: Little Italy! Ever tried it?


Moochin Photoman said...

I have indeed Timothy and they're freshly made and all that but the Black Box 'uns are nicer.

I was in today and told them of the blog Alan..... they're getting a proper sandwich toaster very soon.

Alan in Belfast said...

And they'll find the message in the suggestion box in the hallway too!

We'll definitely have to add it to our repertoire now!

Jo said...

Hi Alan,

I make the pizzas in the Black Box. We would love to offer them during the day, but unfortunately we just don't have the kitchen space or volume of customers to offer pizzas at the same time as the cafe menu.

The pizzas are available 6-11 Thursday to Saturday, and sometimes on other nights depending what events we have on.

Look out for a new lunch menu in the next few weeks though, including our new improved toasties which will definitely be warm in the middle in future!

Alan in Belfast said...

Jo - thanks for commenting. We'll be back to enjoy the toasties, and maybe even some evening for a pizza!

Moochin Photoman said...

Exhibition is on till the 19th now, bit if a mix up but what the helll 3 extra days!!